Police In #Ferguson Used Training From The Israeli Government (VIDEO)

Big boys have big toys. That may not be the only reason the situation in Ferguson went south so quickly. Exactly why did the police respond with so much more force than necessary?

Big boys have big toys. That may not be the only reason the situation in Ferguson went south so quickly. Exactly why did the police respond with so much more force than necessary?

OMG. Will the Ferguson police ever stop? Who would have ever imagined that Israeli-trained law enforcement forces were in Ferguson! No wonder the people felt like Israel had invaded their city. It had! One degree removed.

Do we really understand what has happened? Rania Khalek reports,

“The people of Ferguson have been subjected to a military-style crackdown by a squadron of local police departments dressed like combat soldiers. This has prompted residents to liken the conditions on the ground in Ferguson to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.”

We watched police in camouflage with assault rifles held at the ready, launching tear gas, rushing Ferguson. Armored personnel carriers (APCs) roared up and down the quiet suburban streets before forming ominous lines of destructive potential.

Did that training have anything to do with the shooting of Michael Brown? Did an Israeli-trained officer take down the teen and empty his clip into Brown’s body?

The police force comes out of the dark, firing tear gas and rubber bullets, charging all bystanders.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnXnWB0AZgg]

Big boys have big toys. In Ferguson that is true. But that alone may not be the only reason the situation in Ferguson went south so quickly. Maybe the reason was that the police responded with so much more force than necessary. They had K-9 units and riot squads to crush back the people.

This change in policing is unsettling. But then we soothe ourselves with the lie that this is just a little suburb. It is not where we live. Or is it? Columnist Glenn Grenwald has researched this issue.

“This has resulted in a domestic police force that looks, thinks, and acts more like an invading and occupying military than a community-based force to protect the public.

“As is true for most issues of excessive and abusive policing, police militarization is overwhelmingly and disproportionately directed at minorities and poor communities, ensuring that the problem largely festers in the dark.”

In Ferguson the police incited the riot. And then they used that riot to justify a more intense response. Ferguson protesters shouted at the row of military tactical vehicles,

“You gonna shoot us? Is this the Gaza Strip?

Another resident of Ferguson remarked to The Daily Beast,

“Will we as a people rise up like the people of Gaza? Will our community be bombed like last night with tear gas? That was a terrorist attack.”

How can it be that half of the police in Ferguson had ties to Israel security forces? Khalek reports that,

“At least two of the four law enforcement agencies that were deployed in Ferguson up until Thursday evening — the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Police Department — received training from Israeli security forces in recent years.”

After 911 the temperature of the nation changed. The Cold War was over, and the War on Terror was just beginning. Yet the idea of a war on the homeland was and is chilling. When we have something so fearful, a war in our backyards, then it is far easier to accept tougher responses. We could justify counterinsurgency-like tactics, at least in theory.

But then a militarized police force reminiscent of U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan took on the people of Ferguson.

Sure the military surplus program that spread nearly $450 million in surplus military equipment across the country played a significant role in this tragedy. The Pentagon’s 1033 program’s motto is: “From warfighter to crimefighter.” And according to a New York Times report, that slogan meant the Ferguson Police Department was on the receiving end of,

“Former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.

“During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”

Then of course the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] was handing out money “as part of a grant program.” That meant the billions the DHS sent to local enforcement were conveniently handy to purchase that excess military equipment.

In Ferguson the old rules no longer seemed to apply. The local police roughed up journalists and politicians, something new and disruptive. And cameras caught them intentionally,

“Firing tear gas at an Al Jazeera America film crew as they were setting up their equipment.”

And it was no accident that the Palestinians began tweeting advice to the residents of Ferguson on how to deal with tear gas.

The U.S. sends billions to Israel. And in return they help us militarize our police forces according to Khalek,

“Under the cover of counterterrorism training, nearly every major police agency in the United States has traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement..Israeli forces and US police departments are so entrenched that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) has opened a branch in Tel Aviv.”

The former St. Louis County Police Department chief Timothy Fitch,

“Attended the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) National Counter-Terrorism Seminar, an annual week-long Israeli training camp where US law enforcement executives ‘study first hand Israel’s tactics and strategies’ directly from ‘senior commanders in the Israel National Police, experts from Israel’s intelligence and security services, and the Israel Defense Forces.’”

And it follows that some of his training has filtered down through the ranks of his police force and spread throughout the metropolitan area. There is definitely no doubt that an Israeli-St. Louis tie exists.

Khalek reports that there is a direct Israeli-St. Louis tie,

“The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have hosted some 9,500 law enforcement officials in its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) since 2004.

“LEEP ‘takes delegations of senior law enforcement executives to Israel to study methods and observe techniques used in preventing and reacting to acts of terrorism’ and ‘sponsors conferences within the United States, bringing Israeli experts before much larger groups of law enforcement leaders,’ according to JINSA’s brochure.

“Former St. Louis Police Department police chief Joseph Mokwa is listed as havingtraveled to Israel as part of a LEEP conference in February 2008.”

Deploying a militarized police force against an angry citizenship is begging for trouble. It would take so little to set off this volatile mix. At least Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) has taken local police off point. And hopefully the local police chief will lose his job after mining a QuikTrip video to suit his vile purposes. Hopefully.

H/T Rania Khalek’s, Israel-trained police “occupy” Missouri after killing of black youth